(Communicated by the GPO)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently signed an order declaring 36 funds around the world, members of the "Union of Good" organization, to be banned associations in Israel since they are part of Hamas’s fundraising network, and both support and assist it.

This order, the broadest and most comprehensive ever issued in Israel, joins a series of previous declarations against overseas charity organizations that belong to the "Union of Good" and Hamas, including Interpal in the UK, branches of the Al Aqsa Foundation in Europe, the Holy Land Foundation in the US, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Saudi Arabia, and additional foundations in Turkey, Qatar, South Africa, Austria, Jordan, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and other countries.

This is a significant step against the global network which assists Hamas in raising funds. The order outlaws a great number of bodies that are active abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

The "Union of Good" is, in effect, a roof organization for foundations operated by Hamas around the world, especially in Europe and the Persian Gulf countries. It was outlawed by the Defense Minister in 2002 for its massive support of Hamas.

The Union is composed of dozens of extremist Islamic foundations around the world. WAMY is especially active in the Persian Gulf countries and in Africa. The activity of Hamas foundations in Europe are led by Interpal in the UK, branches of the Al-Aqsa Foundation and the Committee for Welfare and Aid for the Palestinians (CBSP) in France.

Dozens of foundations that are operated abroad by Hamas, most of which are members of the Union of Good, along with dozens of Hamas charitable associations active in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, form a well organized and coordinated support network, that includes Hamas’s fundraising arm abroad and the vital civilian and infrastructure networks in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.  In this framework, tens of millions of dollars per annum are transferred from the overseas foundations to Hamas associations in the field.

Recently, it has become clear that Union-affiliated foundations are trying to raise funds not only for Hamas charitable associations in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, but for the activities of the Hamas government as well.  The Chairman of the Union of Good is the infamous Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Several steps have been taken so far, in Israel and abroad, against foundations, associations and activists connected to Hamas’s global fundraising network, including the banning of the Al-Aqsa Foundation in Germany and the Netherlands, the conviction of senior Islamic Movement officials over their links with the Union for Good and Hamas foundations, and the conviction of a Hamas-affiliated charity in A-Ram.

There is no doubt that, in light of its scope, this significant declaration will require the Israeli and world banking and financial systems to prepare accordingly and act with caution in order to avoid criminal actions or civil lawsuits by victims of terrorism, such as that against the Arab Bank, in the US.

List of banned organizations

1 . The Saudi Committee for the Relief of Palestinian People (formerly the Saudi Foundation for Support of the Al-Aqsa Intifada)
اللجنة السعودية لإغاثة الشعب الفلسطيني

2. International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO)
هيئة الإغاثة الإسلامية العالمية

3. Patients Helping Fund – The Administration Al-Qadisiyah the Medical Committee (Kuwait)
صندوق إعانة المرضى بالكويت

4. Makkah Charity Institution (Saudi Arabia)
مؤسسة مكة المكرمة الخيرية

5. Mercy International (Kuwait)
الرحمة العالمية بالكويت

6. Zakat House (Kuwait)
بيت الزكاة بالكويت

7. The Charitable Palestine Committee (Kuwait)
لجنة فلسطين الخيرية بالكويت

8. Mohammed Bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment (Dubai)
مؤسسة الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم- دبي

9. Fujairah Charity Association (UAE)
الجمعية الخيرية – الفجيرة

10. The Sharga House of Charity (UAE)
بيت الشارقة الخيري – الشارقة

11. UAE Red Crescent Society (UAE)
هيئة الهلال الأحمر الإماراتي

12. Al Islamic Society- The Charity Act (Bahrain)
جمعية الإصلاح – لجنة الأعمال الخيرية بالبحرين

13. The Islamic Society (Bahrain)
الجمعية الإسلامية البحرين

14. Sheikh Eid Bin Muhammad Al-Thani Charity Association (Doha , Qatar)
مؤسسة الشيخ عيد آل ثاني بقطر

15. The Charitable Qatar Society (including branches in the PA-administered territories)
جمعية قطر الخيرية

16. Palestine Qatar Committee for Relief in Palestine (Doha , Qatar)
اللجنة القطرية المشتركة للإغاثة – فلسطين

17. The Islamic Charitable Society to Help Al-Aqsa (Yemen)
الجمعية الخيرية الإسلامية لنصرة الأقصى اليمن

18. The Ansar Charitable Society in Sudan
جمعية أنصار الخيرية بالسودان

19. The Islamic Dawah Association Sudan
منظمة الدعوة الإسلامية السودان

20. Guidance And Reform Society (Algeria)
التوحيد والإصلاح الجزائر

21. The Movement for Unity and Reform (Morocco)
حركة التوحيد والإصلاح, شارع المقاومة الرباط- المغرب

22. The Charitable Committee of Islamic Help to the Palestinian People (Amman , Jordan)
لجنة زكاة المناصرة الإسلامية للشعب الفلسطيني عمان

23. The Union of Good Lebanon (includes US charitable organization)
ائتلاف الخير في لبنان- صندوق الزكاة في لبنان- دار الفتوى

24. The International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief (Cairo , Egypt)
المجلس الإسلامي العالمي للدعوة والإغاثة بمصر

25. The Humanitarian Relief Committee Doctors Syndicate (Cairo , Egypt)
لجنة الإغاثة الإنسانية – نقابة الأطباء بمصر

26. The Reform Society (Yemen)
الجمعية الإصلاح الاجتماعي الخيرية اليمن

27. Human Appeal International (UAE, Britain , Australia)
هيئة الأعمال الخيرية

28. Humanitarian Relief Foundation (Britain)
مؤسسة الإغاثة الإنسانية لندن

29. Muslim Hands (Britain)
مسلم هاندس لندن

30. Muslim Aid / Educational Aid for Palestinians (Britain)
العون الإسلامي, العون التعليمي للفلسطينيين, لندن

31. Sanabil Al-Aqsa Charitable Foundation (Sweden)
مؤسسة سنابل الأقصى الخيرية السويد

32. Foundation of Innocents / Innocents (Norway)
أبرياء النرويج

33. Association de Secours Palestinien – ASP Relief For Palestine Society / ASP / SHS / VUP (Switzerland)
جمعية الإغاثة لفلسطين سويسرا

34. Palestine Association – PVOE/PHV (Austria)
رابطة فلسطين النمسا

35. Al-Aqsa Foundation of South Africa / Al-Aqsa International Foundation
مؤسسة الأقصى – جنوب افريقيا

36. Insan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi (IHH) / International Humanitarian Relief Organisation / Internationale Humanitere Hilfs Organisation (Turkey)
مؤسسة الأقصى – جنوب افريقيا